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When you visit the Brooklyn Museum, you can use our app to ask us questions or chat about the artwork you see.

You’ll be connected with a team of art historians and educators who know our collection, can answer your questions, and can give you recommendations on what to see next. 

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Explore our permanent collection or a special exhibition on a guided group tour led by one of our friendly and experienced Museum Guides, or on your own with a self-guided group tour. These tours are for adult groups with at least 10 people, last about one hour, and can be tailored to meet the interests and needs of your group.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

We're renovating our second floor to bring you a better experience, which means the Libraries and Archives are closed to the public until fall 2017. If you're a researcher who would like to access our resources, send us an email and we'll do our best to assist you.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Fifth Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Fourth Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Third Floor

Also on the Third Floor: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Our Second Floor galleries are currently closed for renovations.

Also on the Second Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Parking
Parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays, there's a flat rate of $6 starting at 5 p.m. Park your bicycle in the rack behind the building, next to our sculpture garden.

Shopping
Our Shop offers an eclectic mix of gifts, jewelry, books, clothing, crafts, and foods from around Brooklyn and around the world. Shop hours

Dining
Have small plates, dinner, or drinks at The Norm restaurant and bar, led by Michelin-starred Chef Saul Bolton. Or stop by the BKM Café or Bowl. Planning a group tour? Consider a catered lunch for your group.

Rest Rooms
Rest rooms are on the first and third floors (floor plan), are wheelchair accessible, and have baby-changing tables. A family rest room is located just off the main lobby.

Coat Check
A free coat check is available on the first floor, where you can leave any packages, large bags, umbrellas, or strollers.

Wheelchairs
Complimentary wheelchairs are available at the coat check on the first floor. Our entrances and rest rooms are wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our Accessibility page.

Strollers
You're welcome to use strollers throughout the building (although from time to time there are certain areas where we might need to restrict their use, on account of small spaces, especially fragile art, or other circumstances). If necessary, leave your stroller at the coat check.

Wireless Access
We offer free wireless access throughout our galleries and grounds. During your visit, we encourage you to switch to wifi (BrooklynMuseum) for faster download speeds. The wireless project was created by the Brooklyn Museum Technology Department, with help from NYCWireless.

Go Mobile
Need information on the go? Planning your next visit? Access www.brooklynmuseum.org from your mobile phone to view our mobile-friendly website.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

We're committed to making our galleries and facilities accessible to everyone.

  • We are fully wheelchair accessible. Check our online and printed floor plan for details.
  • If you need a wheelchair during your visit, they're available for free at the coat check in the lobby.
  • Companions of people with disabilities are admitted for free.
  • The parking lot behind the Museum is fully accessible. There's a free, 15-minute grace period for pickups and dropoffs.
  • If you need an assistive-listening device, they're available for free at our Admissions Desk, on the first floor.

We also offer a wide range of services for our visitors of all ages with special needs.

  • For those who have low or no vision, guided visits that include verbal descriptions can be scheduled for both adult and school groups, with advance notice. We also offer Sensory Tours, monthly public tours designed to accommodate and engage both sighted and non-sighted visitors. Verbal descriptions of collection highlights are available via Art Beyond Sight.
  • For those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, American Sign Language interpretation for both adult and school group tours can be arranged, with advance notice.
  • For those with intellectual disabilities or other special needs, we offer specially tailored guided gallery visits to adult and school groups.

We hope that you'll get in touch with us via email or at 718.501.6229 if you have questions about any of the above services, or if you'd like to make advance arrangements.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

No matter what your interest, there's a tour for you:

  • Join our Museum Guides for daily public tours (free with admission) focusing on a variety of themes, eras, and movements in art.
  • Book a group tour for ten or more adults.
  • Explore tours and programs for school groups, all designed to help students and teachers construct meaningful experiences with works of art.
ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the First Floor

Also on the First Floor

  • Admissions Desk
  • Museum Shop
  • Dining (The Norm restaurant and bar; BKM Café and Bowl)

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

By Subway

2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum. Transfer to 2/3 from 4/5 (at Nevins Street) and B, D, Q, N, R, and LIRR (at Atlantic Terminal-Barclays Center). See a subway map. Make sure to check with the MTA for any service changes, especially on the weekend.


By Bus

The closest bus stops are:

B41 and B69 at Grand Army Plaza

B45 at St. Johns Place and Washington Avenue

Check with the MTA for the most up-to-date bus information.


By Car

From Manhattan:

Brooklyn Bridge; left at Tillary Street; right on Flatbush Avenue for about 1.5 miles to Grand Army Plaza; about 2/3 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at the first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue). Or: Manhattan Bridge enters directly onto Flatbush Avenue.

From Westchester, the Bronx, Queens, or Connecticut:

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough) to Brooklyn Queens Express (BQE); Manhattan Bridge exit to Tillary Street; left onto Flatbush Avenue and proceed according to the directions from Manhattan.

From Staten Island and southern or central New Jersey:

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Gowanus Expressway (Route 278 towards Manhattan); exit to 38th Street; left on Fourth Avenue for about 2 miles; right on Union Street; 5 blocks to Grand Army Plaza; go 1/2 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue).

From northern or north central New Jersey:

George Washington Bridge/Holland or Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan; follow directions from Manhattan.

From Long Island:

Grand Central Parkway to Jackie Robinson Parkway; exit at Bushwick Avenue; left at third traffic light to Eastern Parkway; about 3 miles to Washington Avenue. We're across intersection at left.


Parking

On-site parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays there's a flat rate of $5 beginning at 5 p.m.


Bikes

Park your bicycle at the racks behind the Museum, next to the Sculpture Garden. Bikes are parked at your own risk; we don't accept responsibility for vandalism or theft.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it?
The writing system is called Cuneiform and the language itself is called Akkadian. There are many scholars who can read Akkadian, but it is very difficult to learn. Let me see if I can find you some translation.
Ok. Yes, I'd like to know the gist of what it says!
Here is a sample: "I am Ashur-nasir-pal the obedient prince, the worshiper of the Great Gods, the fierce dragon, the conqueror of all cities and mountains to their full extent, the king of rulers who tames the dangerous enemies, the [one] crowned with glory, the [one] unafraid of battle, the relentless lion, who shakes resistance, the king of praise, the shepherd, protection of the world, the king whose command blots out mountains and seas..."
Much of the text you see has a similar theme, Ashurnasirpal II glorifies the gods and reminds people of his own greatness. These reliefs are originally from the walls of his palace.
If the text glorifies the king, then why is it juxtaposed against mythological beings?
That juxtaposition serves two main purposes. One is that, in Ashurnasirpal II's time in Assyria, kings were understood as at least partially divine so it would make sense in that context to place him with other supernatural beings.
Another is that one role of the king was to worship and glorify the gods on behalf of his kingdom/empire. They occupy the same space so that Ashurnasirpal II can directly worship and honor them including delivering offerings. The winged figures are called genies and also serve as guardians protecting the king and his palace.
I saw this portrait of George Washington also in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. So is the portrait here painted by the same person? Are they the same work of art?
Gilbert Stuart did paint multiple versions of this portrait of George Washington, and one of them is at the National Portrait Gallery! This format is known as Stuart's "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Washington posed for Stuart in 1795 and 1796, when he was President. He was 63 at the time.
The one in the National Portrait Gallery is Stuart's very first version of this full-length portrait of Washington, and then he made copies of it for other clients.
I love the shape and color! What can you tell me about this object?
It does have some striking graphic qualities! The mask likely represents a "ges" spirit and was made in Northern New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea. In their culture, the ges spirits were potentially dangerous and believed to live in the bush. One potential interpretation of the red protrusion coming from the mouth area is that it represents the flesh of a victim of the ges. The carving is in the malangaan style, with vivid painted colors and an emphasis on negative space, and was associated with malangaan funerary ceremonies. 
Hi! What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a form of writing that was used in Mesopotamia starting around 3500 BCE and continued for thousands of years. The characters stand for phonetic values and are actually highly stylized signs derived from pictograms that often vary from scribe to scribe.
The wall reliefs in the Kevorkian Gallery here demonstrate Cuneiform used to write the Akkadian language. Akkadian was developed in the 3rd millennium BCE and was used as the language of diplomacy in Mesopotamia and the Near East until the Persian period.
Did all the beds having hangings just for decoration or to serve some purpose?
That's an excellent question. Bed hangings were definitely aesthetic and decorative while also serving the purpose of keeping the cold out. Like curtains, bed hangings showed your wealth and status and were often fashioned out of expensive luxury fabrics. And, before people had good heat sources, bed warmers were placed under the mattress to heat it and bed hangings would keep the cold air away from the sleeping person!
What can you tell me about this plate?
That's an Oyster Plate from the late 19th century. Made in Greenpoint New York. It features a beautiful polychrome decorations and intricate sculpting. 
Is there an artist name?
It was manufactured by Union Porcelain Works. Which was the foremost porcelain maker in American from 1862 to 1922 and is actually credited with manufacturing the first American oyster plates. Many artists likely worked to create this piece from mould makers, glaze artists and craftsmen specializing in operating kilns. The Union Porcelain Works employed up to 200 people around the time this oyster plate was created.
What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a type of printmaking process that uses a slab of limestone that is treated with acid or "etched: to make certain areas repel and attract oil based inks.
You may have heard of "offset lithography" which is used to print large volumes of texts. Many artists however have adopted this printmaking technique for its unique line quality and the ability to make multiple identical prints fairly easily.
Where is this from?
It is said to come from Thebes. This an Egyptian amulet of the god Bes from the New Kingdom Period. A god of protection for women and infants, he would have been worn by a woman who was pregnant or giving birth.
When is the New Kingdom period?
The New Kingdom is considered 1550–1070 B.C. and thought to be the "Third Great Era" of Egyptian culture. At this time Egypt pushed their control into Nubia and the Near East. As a result, the New Kingdom pharaohs commanded unimaginable wealth, it was an amazingly prosperous time and amazing example of art come from this time.
Is this a Thomas Eakins painting?
Yes! Thomas Eakins was a very important figure in American art of the late 1800s and early years of the 1900s. He was a "realist" in that he strongly believed in showing present-day life and ordinary people in everyday occupations.
Here he shows one of his artistic predecessors, the Philadelphia sculptor William Rush, hard at work in his studio making a public sculpture for Philadelphia. Eakins taught all his students to work directly from the full nude and to study anatomy with an almost scientific eye. Female art students were often prohibited from studying from live male models (due to Victorian propriety), and he fought that convention in his own teaching.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.